16 Things I Learned While Being 16

1. Find things to be thankful for everyday...

But don't base all your happiness on someone else. Find beauty and joy in the ordinary, and tell people you love that you love them. 

2. When you have the chance to go to a concert, go to the concert...

School will be there tomorrow. Troye Sivan won't be. 

3. Believe in your own abilities...

Just because someone is really athletic, doesn't mean that you can't run fast. Just because someone gets better scores on tests than you, doesn't mean that you aren't smart. There is always going to be someone out there who is better than you, but that doesn't mean that you aren't talented, brilliant, and funny. You have so many incredible qualities that make you an amazing, unique human being. Believe in those qualities. 

4. Keep trying...

Try out for everything that you want to be a part of, and if you don't get in or get the part? Yeah, go ahead and cry in a high school bathroom stall at 10:00 in the morning, but don't think that just because you weren't right for something at that moment, you won't be right for it EVER. Keep trying at the things that are important to you, and don't give up. Perseverance. It's a good thing.   

5. Be okay with letting friendships go...

Even though it's important to keep trying and to not give up at the first sign of trouble, sometimes there are situations where you need to do just that. If a friendship or relationship isn't working anymore, it's okay to let it go and not feel guilty about it. Sometimes it's no one's fault, it just wasn't working anymore. You don't need to feel guilty for removing yourself from a relationship that makes you feel unhappy.

6. Don't let rejection change how you see yourself...

This kind of goes along with what I said about persevering and not giving up when something doesn't work out, but not letting rejection change how you see yourself is so important that I think it deserves its own number. Just because you were rejected from something or someone does not mean that you aren't a good person who has many brilliant things to offer the world. 

7. Don't define yourself by your grades...

Grades do not equal intelligence. Test scores do not equal intelligence. Just because someone got a better grade on something than you DEFINITELY does NOT mean that you aren't smart. 

8. Believe in more than one kind of beautiful...

Everyone has something that is beautiful about them. EVERYONE. Countrysides and city lights are both beautiful, but if they looked the same, they wouldn't be as spectacular anymore. There is something beautiful about everyone, inside and out. It's high time that we all started to believe in more than one kind of beautiful. 

9. Show people your music...

It's scary, and it requires a huge sense of vulnerability, but it's worth it. Even if you share it with one person over text, it's worth it.

10. Learn how to be alone without being lonely...

Find peace in solitude, and beauty in silence. It is in the times that we are alone that we discover things about ourselves that we never would have discovered otherwise. 

11. Read everything you can get your hands on...

Sixteen was the year that I read a lot. I had made it my ambition to read 16 while being 16, and I did it (list of books I read has been posted!) Read the books you don't think you'll like, and certainly don't judge a book on it's cover.    

12. Read poetry...

It makes you a better writer and human being. 

13. Tell teachers you appreciate them when you have the chance...

You'll regret it later if you don't.

14. Know that with every mistake, there is a lesson to be learned...

Apologize when you've done something wrong, and forgive yourself as well. Learn from your mistakes, and be honest with yourself.

15. Don't think that new friends are limited to those in the same grade as you...

Sometimes the people in your class aren't as compatible with your spirit as you wish they were. It's okay to make friends outside of your class, and it may be the best decision you make all year. 

16. Wait, it gets better...

Your tears will dry, and your happiness will return. Just give it a little time.   

 

Sixteen was such an amazing age, and I'm going to miss it terribly. But here's to seventeen, I know it can only get better. 

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